Newly appointed West Indies Women coach, Courtney Walsh, says he hopes to instill a new sense of self-belief in the beleaguered side as he looks to revive their flagging fortunes.
West Indies Women’s form has slumped dramatically in both formats since capturing the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup four years ago, and earlier this month suffered their third consecutive T20 whitewash when they went down 5-0 on the tour of England.
In One-Day Internationals, the regional women finished seventh in the ICC Championship – a qualifier for the 2022 World Cup – and will now have to go through a 10-team qualifying tournament next year in order clinch one of the three remaining spots at the showpiece.
“I want to see them smiling again. The whole idea is to give them self-confidence and self-belief that they have a job to do and perform,” said Walsh, an assistant coach with the side at the T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year when they failed to reach the semi-finals.
“Once the players believe in themselves and they are smiling and enjoying the game, that’s the right path. You will have some bad patches and failures here and there but that consistency and that will and pride to play for the West Indies is what I want to see more of.”
The recent drubbing at the hands of England summed up the Caribbean side’s recent form which also saw them whitewashed 5-0 by India in the Caribbean last November and also go down 3-0 to South Africa two months earlier.
Experienced all-rounder Deandra Dottin was the only player to impress in the England series, hitting two half-centuries to top the scoring on either side.
Once again, the touring side’s batting came under heavy scrutiny but with their bowling and fielding also found wanting, Walsh said his focus would be on overall development of the squad.
“There is room for improvement in all aspects of the game,” said Walsh, still the record-holder for the most wickets in Tests by a West Indies bowler with 519 scalps.
“My idea and plan and strategy is to re-focus, re-energize and to look at the talented players we have and work out how we can improve with the players we have and other young players to come into the set-up as well.
“To try to create that brand that we know we can play, that we used to play, going back a few years when we won the T20 world Cup in India and a couple years ago when we were in the semi-finals and were doing so well.”
He added: “That is going to come from consistency … how we plan, how we strategize, how we execute and get our tactical awareness up. I’m not going to leave any stones unturned. I’m going to go right through everything to ensure we give ourselves the very best chance.
“We have a good solid base of players. Obviously, we have to perform. Those teams with players who perform get the best results.”
Walsh, who served as Bangladesh bowling coach for three years until last year, has already performed several roles in Caribbean cricket including that of senior selector and Under-19 manager.
And the 57-year-old said he was anxiously looking forward to his new assignment.
“Whatever I can do to help West Indies cricket I’m prepared to do,” the Jamaican stressed.
“My heart is in West Indies cricket, it has always been and will always be. Anything at all that I can do to enhance and assist in West Indies I am always happy to do so.
“We have to look at getting more female players and getting them involved in the system. I am here to support and enhance what we have going here at Cricket West Indies.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started and get out there and get the job done.”